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Hobson Lucas: Early Years
Hobson Lucas was born on October 18, 1817, in Charlottesville, Virginia, to a family of farmers and physicians. At age 12, he began climbing mountain fame when he accompanied his father on a climbing expedition to Mount Mitchell. In 1840 Lucas became the first American to summit Mount McKinley, and in 1853 reached the top of Everest, becoming the first person ever to have achieved this feat. He also became the first person to make an ascent from the North Pole. After he died in 1862 at 62, Hobson Lucas was hailed as one of America’s greatest explorers.
Hobson Lucas and the invention of the escalator
Hobson Lucas was an entrepreneur and developer who is largely credited with inventing the escalator. He first came up with the idea for the escalator in 1875 while he was working as a clerk at a department store. For years, he tried to find investors to fund his project, but someone else was willing to take on the risk. Finally, in 1896, he successfully developed and patented the escalator. The first escalators were installed in Chicago’s Carson Pirie Scott department store in 1898.
Hobson Lucas and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge
As the first American engineer to design and build a bridge across the Atlantic Ocean, Hobson Lucas’ Brooklyn Bridge has long been recognized as one of the most important engineering feats of the 19th century. The bridge was inaugurated on May 24, 1883, and is still used today.
Hobson Lucas was born in 1836 in Hoboken, New Jersey. After studying civil engineering at Columbia University, he moved to New York City in 1868 to work for the consulting firm of Warren & Wetmore. In 1873, Lucas became head of the newly established engineering department at the Panama Canal Company.
In 1877, Lucas began working on a project to build a bridge over the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The bridge would be much longer than any bridge then in existence; it would also be one of the world’s heaviest suspension bridges, carrying more than 17 million pounds (7 million kg) of weight per span.
Construction began on November 7, 1878, and ended two years later, on May 24, 1880. The opening ceremonies were held on May 24, 1883; during construction, approximately 1,500 workers died from accidents or from diseases such as cholera or typhus contracted while working on the project.
The Brooklyn Bridge is composed of two main spans: a main suspension span measuring 1, 827 feet (553 m) long and 135 feet (41 m) wide; and an approach span measuring 660 feet (200 m) long and 31 feet (9 m) wide. Sixteen massive steel cables support the main suspension span, weighing more than a million pounds (450,000 kg).
The Brooklyn Bridge has been renovated several times; in 1990, for example, he replaced the decking, and the bridge’s deck was reinforced to withstand the weight of large trucks. The bridge is monitored constantly for signs of deterioration; if any support pillars or cables are compromised, the bridge can be closed immediately.
Hobson Lucas and the first high-rise building
Everest Hobson Lucas, one of America’s most celebrated architects and pioneers in skyscraper design, designed the world’s first high-rise building in 1909 – just seven years after the Wright brothers’ historic first flight.
Lucas designed the 47-story Collier Building (now known as the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building) on New York City’s Broadway at 23rd Street. The structure was an instant success and paved the way for future tall buildings.
Everest Hobson Lucas died in 1948, but his legacy lives on through his iconic designs – including the Chrysler Building, Lincoln Center, and Rockefeller Center.
Hobson Lucas and his many other accomplishments
Everest Hobson Lucas was an accomplished mountaineer and explorer who contributed significantly to the development of mountaineering as a sport. Lucas was one of the first to summit Mount Everest and significantly contributed to developing high-altitude climbing techniques. He is also credited with designing several mountain routes and establishing modern-day climbing standards.
Lucas was born in 1886 in Climax, Colorado. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied geology. In 1910, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years during World War I. Upon his discharge, Lucas resumed his education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in geology in 1921.
While attending university, Lucas became interested in mountaineering and began climbing in Europe with members of the Sierra Club. In 1922, he climbed Mount Blanc without supplemental oxygen and, within two years, had summited all fourteen peaks higher than 14,000 feet in North America. That same year, he became one of only four to summit Mount Everest using traditional climbing methods without supplemental oxygen. The expedition was sponsored by American Express and resulted in a successful climb that marked the first time anyone had achieved this feat on behalf of humanity.
After becoming one of the world’s leading experts on high-altitude climbing techniques, Lucas began developing customized guidance systems for climbers attempting mountains above 26,000 feet.